Pastor Steve McCoy has some fantastic advice for parents of young kids. It’s a list of 24 practical ways in which you can raise your kids well. For example, here’s number four:
Teach *First Time Obedience* | When Dad or Mom says do it, they do it. We are the parents. They are kids. Why is this important? Do you want them to obey God the first time, or to put it off? Also, if they don’t obey us there are often major consequences in the future. Sometimes if they don’t obey there are major consequences in the very near future. Example: We taught our children to *stop* when we say stop. We didn’t chase them around at parties or baseball games or at the park. We say stop, they were taught to stop or face discipline. One of our kids was bad about running through parking lots on the way in to a store. Our *first time obedience* teaching probably saved his life or at least bodily harm more than once. But the everyday, simple things will create disciplined & respectful kids. It will also shock people around you and create opportunities to talk about why your parenting “works.”
My pastor once had one child ask for a chip (adults were eating chips) and he said “Ok.” Another of his children overheard and came over and asked for a chip. He said “No.” The child, without hesitation, said “ok” and walked away. My pastor then told him to return and explained how happy he was that he was willing to trust him and obey even when it seemed unfair, and then gave him a chip. That’s the power of this one rule when taught consistently.
ALSO, don’t use the counting rule. When you count you are telling your kids they can delay obedience. “Johnny, get your coat on. Johnny! One…twooooo…” Not obeying now is disobedience. Period. Well, almost period…
The rest of this list is really wise, helpful counsel. I highly recommend that you take the time to read it. You can do so here.
(HT: Justin Taylor)